While Dustin, a Navy pilot, is overseas in Africa on a year-long deployment, his wife and three young sons invite strangers into their home to fill his empty chair at Sunday dinner. Each week brings new experiences for the Smiley family. Sarah introduces her boys to role models while counting down the months and weeks until her husband returns. It is an ambitious and challenging family project filled with discoveries and surprises for both the host family and their special guests.
Jim Doane's 25-year-old son may or may not be dead, and he has only burned skull fragments as possible evidence. But he cannot go to the police for answers without risking his own secrets and dark past, so instead he chooses a bold step to find the truth --- a truth that takes forensic sculptor Eve Duncan down a twisted path of madness and evil and into the darkest heart of her own history.
This story traces love in the life of young Eunice. In the first part, Eunice must reckon with familial love --- from an eccentric mother and an absent father. The second leg of Eunice’s journey introduces her to the steadiness of a nurturing love through her relationship with a mysterious stranger named Rose. Finally, in the third act, Eunice is initiated into the world of passionate love.
Jon Willing was just a teenager when he and his pals Augie and Ben stole a fortune in drug money. Twenty-five years later, Jon’s marriage is on the rocks, his kids are virtual strangers, and the recession has taken his job and decimated his finances. Worst of all, when he finds Augie murdered in Vegas, he knows the past has risen from its grave to grab him by the throat. The battle that ensues will force Jon to confront the demons of his past.
Dani’s husband, Ian, disappears without a trace from their houseboat in Seattle. Panic and disbelief soon give way to grief --- either he's been the victim of foul play (which is what the police assume), or he's determined not to be found. But Dani won't rest until she learns what happened to him. Her quest will dredge up dark memories from the past, and will force her to confront unpleasant truths about her relationship with Ian.
Officer Danny Boyle and Chief of Detectives John Ceepak do their best to help Danny’s friend, a young nurse who claims she has been falsely accused of aggravated assault by a prestigious Sea Haven doctor. Ceepak’s unshakable code of honor is tested when he trusts that the nurse is telling the truth. It’s stretched to the limit when one of the nurse’s home health care patients turns up dead.
Along the Mississippi River, in a Depression-era stadium, young prospects from all over the world compete for a chance to move up through the baseball ranks to the major leagues. Award-winning essayist Lucas Mann turns his eye on the players, the coaches, the fans, the radio announcer, the town, and finally on himself, a young man raised on baseball, driven to know what still draws him to the stadium.
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes, she came back to life as a Reboot --- the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Callum 22, on the other hand, is practically still human. When Callum fails to measure up to Reboot standards, Wren is told to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before, but she'll do whatever it takes to save Callum's life.
No one thought an ordinary girl like me would last two minutes living with the Amish, not even me. There are a lot more rules and a lot less freedom, and I miss my family and the life I once had. Worst of all, Noah and I aren't even allowed to see each other. Not until I've proven myself.
YELLOWCAKE brings together ten short stories --- each of them fiercely original and quietly heartbreaking. The stories range from fantasy and fairy tale to horror and stark reality, and yet what pervades is the sense of humanity. The people of Lanagan's worlds face trials, temptations and degradations. They swoon and suffer and even kill for love as they seek solace and strength.
Lucas Davenport is investigating a case when the trail leads to the disappearance of a Minnesota political fixer, then --- very troublingly --- to the Minneapolis police department, then --- most troublingly of all --- to a woman who could give Machiavelli lessons. She has very definite ideas about the way the world should work, and the money, ruthlessness and sheer will to make it happen. No matter who gets in the way.
A heavy-handed developer is trying to buy up Henry Cimoli's condo on Revere Beach and sends thugs to move the process along. Soon Spenser and his apprentice find a trail leading to a mysterious and beautiful woman, and plans to turn to a chunk of land north of Boston into a sprawling casino. Bitter rivals emerge, alliances turn, and the uglier pieces of the Boston political machine look to put an end to Spenser's investigation.